Habits in Moderation

by Mary S on July 27, 2013

When do habits work against us?  When they substitute for thoughtful action.  In a blog post Identifying medications by storage location is risky Michael Cohen shared how habitual behavior might lead to medication errors.  The story involves a diabetic man who has two different insulin products, both stored in different places in the fridge.  One day when his wife cleaned the fridge, she accidently switched their location.  Unaware of the switch, the man took a dose of the wrong medication!

Relying totally on where a medicine is stored is risky and can lead to an error. Reading the label each and every time, however simple that sounds, is important. Perhaps storing the medicines in containers with ‘long-acting’ and ‘rapid-acting’ stickers could help differentiate the products. However, diabetics who have vision problems may not be able to read labels or stickers well. In these cases, some people have wrapped adhesive tape or rubber bands around the rapid-acting insulin vial so that they can feel the vial and recognize the correct product.

I love the rubber band idea!  Engaging another sense is subtle but helpful.  Placing stickers on medication bottles is another great idea.  You can use stickers to remind of the proper dosage, distinguish His from Hers, or organize colors by time of day.  You can purchase stickers at any office supply store or see a selection of Avery stickers online.

Until Next Time,


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